Since we offer This Recording to you without advertisements, we depend on the generosity of others to pay for all those Bat for Lashes songs I posted. You know who you were. I’m asking politely.
Make us wealthier than we can imagine, or at least able to afford basic goods and services. Blogging is hard, it is like a triathlon but every single day.
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It’s a completely tax-deductible contribution, and seriously, Molly is crying right now. She should feel better than this. WE NEED YOUR HELP.
“Is There a Ghost” — Band of Horses (mp3)
dir. John August, 99 minutes
I thought I’d had my fill of insider-y Hollywood movies that weren’t insider-y enough, and it turned out I had.
John August is a very interesting character. Ryan Reynolds plays him in the middle part of August’s new movie, The Nines, and it’s a portrait that’s startlingly self-aware, from August’s love for his dog to being a little creepy, sometimes.
In a particularly awesome addition, they recorded an mp3 commentary for the movie that you can take with you into a movie theater. If you can’t get behind being that nerdy, we don’t really know what to say to you.
August blogged about it in EW.
“Bookshop Casanova” — The Clientele (mp3)
Like Once, The Nines is about the artistic process. August has had something of a bumpy ride in the studio system. There’s no question he’s a talented filmmaker, and even when The Nines turns Michael Bay meets Stanley Kubrick level dumb, you can’t help but appreciate the effort.
Much of The Nines is an assault on the studio machinery that surrounds filmmaking. I’m sympathetic, but not when the complaint is about focus groups and August is casting every person in a TV show he watches and Hope Davis gets screentime as a sexpot even though she looks like she’s in her late 60s.
“All These Things That I Have Done (Morel’s Pink Noise Dub)” — The Killers (mp3)
Melissa McCarthy, Suki from Gilmore Girls, holds up her end of the bargain. She gets most of her screentime as herself in the film’s second part, and she’s even better when she’s not playing herself in the first part. She reminds me of a Roald Dahl character or something. I think she’s far sexier than even John August gives her credit for, and it’s the fault of the film that it just can’t try something different instead of having to talk about the fat girl or something.
The film’s third act was laughable, and not very interesting.
August was in the grip of a good idea, and when it didn’t work in the right way, he followed it to its end in the forest. We would have been sated by a more Mulholland Drive feel, but he doesn’t go in that direction, choosing instead a slow burn to a surprise more boring than its anticipation. Trying to wrap things up in a movie this strange just seems pointless.
“Baba O’Riley” — The Who (mp3)
“Tears Coming Home” — Sebastian Schuller (mp3)
Unfortunately, bad endings sour everything. Whenever I read a book, I immediately flip to the end. It’s not spoilers I’m afraid of, it’s the possibility that I might waste time getting to them.
That is kind of what The Nines is about, and it plays by its own rules until the end. For sheer watchability, I could see it being huge on television–it never tries to astound with the possibilities of the film medium, and thus should play very well on the small screen. (It’s also funny, smart, and well-acted.) Indeed, the entire second part, a parody of a reality show, is television.
August is a likable guy, and a terrific blogger. I’d rather watch his movies than most, just because this one overshot doesn’t mean I won’t watch the next film. It was entertaining stuff, and Reynolds is more than watchable–when he’s not spastically adhering to the physical comedy of Van Wilder, he’s incredibly charismatic and handsome, too. If he keeps his hair brown for awhile, De Niro might on some acid trip think he could play Lyndon Johnson or something. Hell, I don’t know what goes on over at Tribeca.
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
August’s lecture at Trinity University.
Bob De Niro and Maria Sharapova watching Federer-Djokovic.
Djokovic played a great match but lost to Federer last night at the U.S. Open:
Asked how it was that Maria Sharapova and Robert De Niro were seated in his box, the quickwitted Djokovic smiled and said Sharapova was just a friend. He said he met De Niro “randomly on the street, I was sitting in a bar, he was coming up, smoking a cigarette.”
More of note is that he does these funny impressions of other players on the tour.
OK see ya later.
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
We love Francis Bacon.
Molly loved Shia before she loved ‘Nessa.
We luxuriated in some Rae Armantrout poems.
If this picture interests you, perhaps this will as well:
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